National Association for College Admission Counselling (NACAC) recently published a report urging colleges and universities to rethink their testing requirements for admissions as the assumptions related to them may no longer be true. The report, however, does not ask institutions to not adopt standardised testing requirements.
As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many colleges have made changes in testing for international students looking forward to studying in the United States. Several US universities have removed the SAT or ACT as a selection criterion and some colleges have also said that standardised testing is unnecessary.
According to the report, international applicants have been facing multiple challenges in taking standardised tests for decades, before the pandemic hit the world. These challenges are likely to remain whenever testing operations return to normalcy.
Advocates for international applicants have mentioned that fewer test dates, a limited number of testing locations, differing policies such as fee waivers, higher fees and alternative testing formats have put international students at a disadvantage. Testing sites or secondary schools are not able to cope with the technical requirements for the ACT, which has led to the reduction of test centres in various countries.
While asking institutions not to drop testing requirements entirely, the report asks such colleges to consider factors such as the public good, focus on student success, be transparent and student-centred, plan frequent reviews and look at unintended consequences before using standardized tests scores for admissions.
NACAC CEO Angel B.Perez said that colleges need to adjust their standardised testing policy, which will help pave the way for greater social mobility for students in America and abroad.